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Title:The riverside Masai: cattle economy, drought and settlement pattern in the Pangani river valley
Author:Maghimbi, S.
Book title:Pastoral economies in Africa and long-term responses to drought
Geographic term:Tanzania
Abstract:This paper examines the response of the pastoral Masai of Kenya and Tanzania to drought and especially the noted tendency of some Masai pastoralists to settle along the Pangani river valley (Tanzania). Here a semi-permanent settlement pattern has been preferred to nomadic life. After an examination of the Masai cattle economy and how it has been affected by drought, riverside settlement and its disadvantages (such as human diseases associated with slow moving water and marshes) are examined. Attempts to fight drought by constructing dams along the Pangani valley are evaluated in relation to the Masai cattle economy. Unfortunately, the dam project was so poorly planned and executed that it has not benefited Masai pastoralists. The Masai should be involved in choosing the sites of dams because they understand their pastures and nomadic way of life best. Bibliogr.